New York to investigate child sexual abuse claims in Catholic dioceses

All eight Roman Catholic dioceses in the state have been subpoenaed as part of the attorney generals investigation into the churchs handling of sex abuse allegations

The New York attorney generals office is set to investigate claims of child sex abuse within the states dioceses of the Catholic church.

Attorney general Barbara Underwood announced Thursday that her office has created a hotline for victims to use.

All eight Roman Catholic dioceses in the state have been subpoenaed as part of her offices investigation into the churchs handling of sex abuse allegations. A law enforcement source familiar with the investigation but not authorized to speak publicly told the Associated Press the subpoenas went out Thursday.

The subpoenas seek documents relating to sexual abuse allegations, financial payments to possible victims or the findings from internal church investigations.

Underwoods office is pursuing a civil investigation into how church leaders responded to reports of abuse.

The announcement comes three weeks after a grand jury investigation found rampant sexual abuse of more than 1,000 children by about 300 priests in Pennsylvania.

The report sparked a widespread row that went all the way to the Vatican and the pope and is still raging.

The subpoenas are part of a civil investigation into how dioceses reviewed and potentially covered up allegations of extensive sexual abuse of minors, the source said.

The Archdiocese of New York, which covers part of New York City and several counties to the north, released a statement on Thursday regarding the announcement.

While we have not yet seen a subpoena, it is not a surprise to us that the Attorney General would look to begin a civil investigation, and she will find the Archdiocese of New York, and the other seven dioceses in the state, ready and eager to work together with her in the investigation, it said.

Since 2002, the archdiocese has shared with its 10 District Attorneys all information they have sought concerning allegations of sexual abuse of minors, and has established excellent working relationships with each of them. Not only do we provide any information they seek, they also notify us as well when they learn of an allegation of abuse, so that, even if they cannot bring criminal charges, we might investigate and remove from ministry any cleric who has a credible and substantiated allegation of abuse.

The statement said the archdiocese looked forward to receiving the subpoena, and working with the attorney general.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/sep/06/new-york-investigate-child-sexual-abuse-claims-catholic-dioceses

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